Merced County Times Newspaper
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Health Officials Confirm Second Case of COVID-19 in Merced County

The Merced County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) has confirmed the second case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in Merced County. The individual contracted the virus out of the county and was not community acquired.

The individual is doing well and is isolating and recovering at home. MCDPH is working to identify potential contacts. Based on information provided by the individual, Public Health staff will assess risks of exposure and contact any affected individuals.

• A third confirmed case of coronavirus involves a public safety worker in the City of Merced. The individual is now reportedly under quarantine in Madera County. The person was confirmed by city and county officials as a member of the Merced Police Department. County officials are not “counting” this individual’s case on the official daily update because the person in question happens to live in Madera County.

• The above case was reportedly linked to a mistrial in Courtroom 1 of the Merced County Superior Court. Those present were asked to contact the Department of Public Health and/or their health care provider. The court has since ordered the disinfection of Courtroom 1, and has not been informed of any individuals testing positive for COVID-19 having direct contact with court personnel and being in any buildings or courtrooms. 

• Last week, two UC Merced students with symptoms related to the coronavirus were reportedly in isolation and awaiting test results. One of them has since tested negative for COVID-19, according to a UCM update. 

• The Times has interviewed an Atwater resident who says she went through a harrowing personal and local healthcare ordeal after returning from a trip to London. The resident was hospitalized while showing signs of coronavirus symptoms. She was tested for the virus and the result came back negative. However, she believes it’s very possible the test results are not accurate. 


As the numbers continue to increase globally and nationally, Merced County Health Officials continue to strongly urge that individuals exercise the following measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19:

  1. If you are experiencing symptoms of illness, self-isolate at home.
  2. EVERYONE SHOULD practice social distancing which means keeping at least 6 feet
    between you and other nonfamily members.
  3. PLEASE wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds as
    often as possible. Handwashing is one of the most effective prevention measures in
    minimizing disease spread.
  4. Always avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  5. Stay at home if you are sick.

For information on COVID-19, call the Merced County Department of Public Health information line at (209) 381-1180 (English, Spanish, Hmong) or visit

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